The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today a new nationwide project worth more than US$30 million to help small-scale farmers in Georgia raise their incomes and increase their climate resilience.
Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finance of Georgia, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, IFAD President, signed an agreement for the Agricultural Modernization, Market Access and Resilience project (AMMAR) consisting of a $13.3 million IFAD loan and $5.3 Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant.
The agriculture sector in Georgia is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, which is leading to serious production losses and threats to food security. Increasing aridity is threatening to devastate the already semi-arid Eastern portions of Georgia by the end of the century.
The project will aim to address these challenges by supporting inclusive growth of climate-smart agricultural value chains. It will mainstream a climate-smart approach throughout its activities, driven by the needs of small-scale farmers.
The project will focus on rural families in areas where there is agricultural and irrigation development potential. It will primarily target smallholder farmers, but will also support others who are involved in agricultural value chains, including agricultural business people, cooperatives and extension and input service providers.
The project aims to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes by 20 per cent in more than 10,000 households; to increase by 20 per cent the total value of surplus agricultural production of targeted products; and to ensure that 50 per cent of trained smallholder producers adopt one or more climate-smart technologies, such as efficient irrigation.
The IFAD-supported project is co-financed with $1.8 million from the government of Georgia and $9.8 million in co-investment from smallholder farmers and business people who will benefit from the project. A $500,000 IFAD capacity-building grant approved in 2013 is also included.
Since 1997, IFAD has invested a total of $52 million in Georgia, leveraging an additional $72 million in co-financing for five programmes and projects benefitting approximately 93,000 rural families.